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Greek, Ariobarzanes I Philoromaios. Cappadocian Kingdom. AR Drachm.
Circa 96-63 B.C. AR Drachm (17mm, 3.92g, 1h). Simmoneta 9a. Obverse diademed head of Ariobarzanes to right. Reverse BASILEUS ARIOBARZANOU PHILOROMAIOU Athena standing left, holding Nike and spear and shield; to left monogram; to right, A; in exergue, gamma. Extremely Fine, beautifully toned. Ex Nomos AG 6th Price List Sale, lot 44.
Ariobarzanes I, nicknamed Philoromaios or “Lover of Rome” in the literal sense but should be translated as “Friend of Rome,” was a client king of Cappadocia during Roman expansion and hegemony in Asia Minor. He was elected by his people with the backing of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. He was removed several times by either Mithradates IV of Pontus or Tigranes II of Armenia but reinstated by the Roman Senate each time. He eventually abdicated and was replaced by his son, Ariobarzanes II.

The detail and artistry is surprisingly elegant on this small coin with a diameter of only 17mm. It is a masterpiece of miniature numismatic portraiture: most of Ariobarzanes’ coins are of inferior quality and finding one with fine portraiture of good style, such as this, is rarely encountered.

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Album name:Jason T / Superb and Masterpiece Portraits Gallery
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Date added:Feb 06, 2013
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URL:http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-92444
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David Atherton  [Feb 07, 2013 at 12:05 AM]
Superb indeed!
4to2CentBC  [Feb 15, 2013 at 11:19 AM]
A very nice specimen. You are correct....rarely encountered